Lung Infections May Hamper Efficacy of FDG-PET

A new retrospective study published in JAMA identified that tuberculosis and certain fungal infections in the lungs could hamper the efficient detection of lung cancer by FDG-PET imaging.

A test used to diagnose lung cancer may not be as reliable in geographic regions where certain lung infections are more common, a new analysis says.

One noninvasive way of detecting lung cancer is through the use of what's known as functional imaging. For lung cancer, a specific type of functional imaging called FDG-PET is used, according to the study authors.

Cancerous tumors generally look different on FDG-PET images than do parts of the lungs that don't have cancer, according to background information in the study. But, it can be difficult to tell the difference between lung cancer and some lung infections, according to the study.

Lung conditions that might affect the accuracy of the functional imaging tests include tuberculosis and fungal infections, the study authors said.

Geographic regions in the new analysis where tuberculosis is common include China, Japan and South Africa. Areas where fungal lung infections occur frequently include the Mississippi, Missouri and Ohio river valley regions, as well as the U.S. Southwest, and Ontario, Canada, according to the analysis.

The analysis looked at the results of 70 studies.

Report on MedlinePlus: http://1.usa.gov/Yc90VQ